What helps you stand out in the admissions pool?Answered
I know this might be a VERY frequent question but I genuinely want to know what really helps you stand out in schools with very little acceptance rate (or really any school!) Are there certain courses or anything education-wise you need to be even better in? Currently, my GPA is 3.9, by the time I graduate I will be finishing 13 APs. Or are there more extracurriculars I need to focus on? I am doing a sport, I am on the debate team, play multiple instruments, work with and hold a club called best buddies for SPED kids, I have over 100 hours of volunteering (My goal is at least 200), and I also volunteer with to spend time with kids at hospitals, and many more. But in all honesty, I feel like all these are very basic and something college admission sees every day. So I genuinely was wondering, how do I stand out? What things should I do additionally to improve and make my admission a stronger chance of getting in?
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in all honesty, I have nearly identical stats to you and have this exact question as well. I have spoken to many people about what it means to stand out to other students, and I've mostly concluded that they favor leadership skills. Of course, there are a variety of other things they look for (exceptional writing skills, grades, community service, etc) but leadership seems to stick out the most. They look for the students who start their own clubs, who have committed to clubs for all 4 years of high school, who are president of various clubs, etc. You seem to be a very well-rounded person as a 3.9 GPA with 13 APs is impressive. Honestly to me, you seem to be on the right track. When it comes to ivy leagues and such, however, if you are from Asian countries, there is a much higher standard for you, such as a perfect SAT score, perfect GPA, multiple academic awards, etc. I noticed you're class of 2025, so you're already very prepared for graduation, so I suggest staying on the same track; aim for leadership positions, and keep up good grades.
I am a senior in high school right now, so I'm still learning everything as well, so my advice can be flawed and I'm fully aware. This is just what I've understood from what everyone has told me. Commitment and leadership are the 2 most important characteristics, especially for test-optional schools.
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